Is there any cute animal 3D printing can’t save? Just look at TurboRoo, a tiny Chihuahua born without front legs, who has been given a new “leash” on life thanks to a Makerbot and a 3D designer from 3dyn.
Mark Deadrick, president of 3dyn, saw TurboRoo’s call for wheels on the Internet and designed a small wheeled cart, estimating the size from online photos. He printed the model in bright orange, slapped on some Rollerblade wheels, and sent the cart to TurboRoo’s owner. Now the wee doggie is scooting along on a free, fully hackable set of super-legs.
Why is this cool? Because, before 3D printing, TurboRoo’s owners would have had to build something out of ready-made pipes, cloth, and other materials at great cost. Now, however, the cart can be custom-fit to TR’s body, reprinted at will, and even modified by other designers. Best of all, they can make multiple carts for almost nothing and in almost no time.
This isn’t the first time 3D printing has made animals’ – and peoples’ – lives better. I’m reminded first of the robotic hands that are now helping handicapped kids grasp objects. On the Metazoan front, designers built a cute leg for a duck in January and there are currently penguins and other fowl with 3D-printed beaks. But there’s nothing quite like seeing a little dog scoot to warm the heating elements of my heart.
Hat tip to DowntownPetVet for helping little Roo!